The UTV Student Build Pilot Program (launched by the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) to help young aftermarket professionals make connections with aspiring automotive students) will showcase its 2019 Honda Talon build in a tour of numerous cities before auctioning it off at the world’s largest collector car auction, the Mecum Auction, in November. All proceeds will benefit the SEMA Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity.
Sponsored by YEN, the customized Talon was completed by students from the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), who worked with industry mentors over the course of the semester to produce a unique UTV featuring products donated by 16 SEMA member companies. Skills used the build include project management, 3-D scanning, CAD, manufacturing, installation, fabrication, suspension, body styling, wiring and testing.
“The purpose of the build was to inspire youth to become automotive hobbyists and to encourage career paths into the automotive aftermarket,” said Kirstin Stone, Chairman of the SEMA Young Executives Network. “This UTV build allowed YEN members to introduce the greater scope of the opportunities available in the aftermarket while encouraging trade skills.”
The students’ efforts resulted in a one-of-a-kind build that was displayed at the 2019 SEMA Show. The UTV will now tour at off-road events throughout 2020, including The Mint 400 in Las Vegas, L.A. County Fair in Los Angeles and the Off-Road Expo in Pomona, CA.
“SEMA is invested in the future of the automotive industry and is proud to support a program that has offered students a wide variety of professional development and training opportunities,” said Zane Clark, SEMA Director of Education. “With the proceeds being invested into the SEMA Scholarship Program, we can continue to help automotive students pay for their college tuition and SEMA members pay off their student loans.”